It’s official! A Brightline high-speed train will connect Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs shopping and dining complex. The announcement was made jointly by Brightline and Walt Disney World Resort (WDW).
Brightline (which had been in partnership with Virgin Trains, but then wasn’t) already runs a train between Miami and Palm Beach (Joe and I rode it last year – here’s what it’s like). They’re also in the midst of running track which will connect that line to the currently-being-constructed Terminal C of MCO (here’s what the new terminal looked like when we visited last year).
Brightline and Disney have been in discussion for over a year regarding extending the line from MCO to WDW.
“Brightline will offer a car-free connection to the millions of visitors from around the state and the world who plan to make Walt Disney World Resort part of their vacation plans,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline. “Our mission has always been to connect our guests to the people and places that matter, and Walt Disney World is a tremendous example of this.”
“We’re excited to work with Brightline as they pursue the potential development of a train station at Walt Disney World Resort, a project that would support our local economy and offer a bold, forward-looking transportation solution for our community and guests, ” added Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort.
Brightline said the proposed Disney Springs station will include a lobby on the ground level of the station, passenger facilities and then an upper-level train platform.
As per Brightline, the agreement is conditioned upon certain obligations, including obtaining government approvals.
They have not said exactly where at Disney Springs the station will be. There’s also currently no estimate of construction will begin, or how the project will be funded. However it’s expected to take at least 2 to 3 years to complete once construction begins. The MCO station is expected to be completed in 2022.
For years, Walt Disney World has been offering Disney’s Magical Express, a fleet of buses provided by Mears Transportation Services, as a free means of transport between MCO and WDW resort hotels. There’s no word yet on how this new Brightline connection may affect that established system. However ever since there’s been musings of Brightline expanding into the Orlando area and talking to Disney, I’ve suspected the train will eventually be an “instead of,” rather than “in addition to” Disney’s Magical Express. Time will tell.
Brightline is also planning an eventual extension to Tampa, and has expressed interested in eventual service to Jacksonville.
Feature Photo: Don Blemins/Wikimedia Commons
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary
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I would go with instead of as well. The current busses serve the purpose of discouraging rental cars and keeping guest spending on Disney property. A train station at Disney springs would also serve to drive traffic through Disney Springs which would enable higher rents. From what I understand, the rents are already fairly ridiculous but this would allow Disney to move them up to truly ludicrous.
lit come to Titusville
I think Brightline’s website has all of the planned stops.
Why dont they just extend it through Disney world complex to Tampa? Would make more sense
That’s in the potential next phase.